Orientation vs. Onboarding — What’s the Difference?

The concepts of orientation and onboarding are often treated as synonymous in the world of HR, but the truth is that they are two different things. If you want to create a strong employee experience from the first moment a new hire walks in, it’s important that you understand the differences.

While orientation is always important for a new employee, onboarding is the step that needs the most attention. Onboarding is one of the major keys to employee engagement and retention. To make sure you understand the differences between orientation and onboarding and their individual purposes, take a look at the following definitions.

What Is Orientation?

Orientation is the process of getting a new hire situated in their new workplace. It involves introducing them to their coworkers, their managers, and the organization in general. They are given a rundown of their new position and they also take the time to fill out any paperwork they’re required to file. 

Orientation usually takes the first few days — and possibly even the first full week — of a new hire’s employment.

What Is Onboarding?

Onboarding is the process of ensuring that a new hire becomes fully integrated into the organization. While orientation includes a walking tour and a meet-and-greet, onboarding is a more rigorous process in which a new employee is able to dive into what makes their new company tick. 

During onboarding, the new employee learns about organizational values, company culture, and the goals they will be working with their colleagues to achieve.

Another big distinction between orientation and onboarding is that onboarding is a far longer process. While a new hire should be properly oriented to the basics of their work within the first week, the onboarding process will take a minimum of three months and possibly up to a full year. 

It’s generally believed that an onboarding process shorter than 90 days will not be an effective one and can result in a lot of turnover.

How to Develop an Effective Onboarding Process

Orientation is certainly important, but it’s a fairly cut-and-dry process. Onboarding, on the other hand, requires a lot more attention to detail and an organization-specific approach. If you want to create an effective onboarding process, you need to develop it carefully by following these steps.

Map Out Your Goals

To create the framework from which your onboarding process will be born, you need to know exactly what your onboarding goals are. 

The basic idea is to provide your new hires with the knowledge they need to successfully integrate into your organization. Obviously, that knowledge and the method used to acquire it is going to vary from company to company. Onboarding must therefore be specifically tailored to your unique business.

To determine what your specific onboarding goals will be, start by answering the question, “What do we expect out of a fully onboarded new hire?” Then go from there.

Create an Onboarding Team

Your next step is to identify the leaders of your organization who will be playing a pivotal role in the onboarding process. Define their onboarding roles so they can fill them as effectively as possible. 

Onboarding is not a job for one or two key members of an organization; it’s a process that should tap into as many resources as possible throughout the company.

Create an Onboarding Plan

Mapping everything out on paper is critical to ensuring that you have a clear timeline with well-defined milestones. This process is something that will require trial and error, as you won’t really be able to see how it works until it’s put to the test.

Continually Review, Monitor, and Reassess

All onboarding processes should be treated as a work in progress until many successful new hires have found their way comfortably into your organization. Even then, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t constantly look for ways to upgrade the experience. 

You can keep improving the process by reviewing data, requesting feedback, incorporating new technology, and enlisting the help of an HR company that specializes in onboarding.

Your onboarding process can make or break the employee experience. Asset HR’s isolved integration helps our clients to create streamlined, highly effective onboarding practices. Connect with Chris Kelly today to learn more.

The Power of a Strong Generational Workplace

A special thanks to Jaime Taets, CEO of Keystone Group International, for submitting this blog to our team! You can connect with Jaime on LinkedIn here.

“Boomers are uncomfortable with technology and have no idea how to use the internet to increase efficiency. They only want to do it how they’ve always done it. They are oblivious to how the internet and social media could accomplish more faster.”

“Millennials feel entitled and expect constant attention. They want a promotion two weeks after they start. And they won’t pay their dues or put in the level of effort it takes.”

“Gen Xers are such job-hoppers. They get bored and suddenly jump ship. They have no idea what company loyalty is. All they think about is themselves and their career ambitions”

These are all comments that we hear relative to how one generation looks at the unique attributes of another generation. Just like in society, when someone looks, believes, or acts differently than us, we make assumptions and judgements. The same assumptions and judgements are happening every day in your organization related to the Generational Divide. So how can organizations bridge that divide and create a workplace that is inclusive and takes advantage of the strengths that each generation, and each human brings to the table?

Truly fix a problem I believe that we need to understand it first. And when I speak and train on the generational divide, I am surprised by how many people take the generational differences at face value and don’t really dig in to understand why those differences are there.
Boomers who are looked at as inflexible or stubborn and set in their ways are really living out the values that were created when they were in their formative years.

Some of their parents or grandparents lived through the Great Depression and the Boomers themselves were born shortly after the end of WWII. What they have experienced in their lives has impacted beliefs that they carry into their personal and professional lives. They have beliefs around professional accomplishments, job security and loyalty, working hard and you will be rewarded. There’s nothing wrong with those beliefs, except that the world has changed and some of those beliefs are not as important in the new business climate.

Or take the Millennials. This generation was deemed the decade of the child. It was the generation where everyone got a participation trophy for their contribution, information was instantly available to them, and they had exposure to a lot of information at early ages. They saw their parents strive for wealth and success and they determined those were the things they wanted – they want to “have it all” and they “deserve the best”. This generation is super family-focused and therefore wants to ensure their work environment balances their personal lives. They want to be included and want constant feedback and validation about how they are doing.

I could go on for pages about the historical events that shaped each of these generations and the jokes and memes that we use to stereotype each generation, but I won’t. Why? Because underneath all our life experiences, our beliefs and our judgements, each of us is human first. We all have basic human needs, things like certainty, significance, love, connection. It doesn’t matter what generation we come from; we need these things.

So, when exasperated leaders ask me how to manage across generations my response to them is always the same. First, seek to understand because when we understand how someone’s background, no matter what their age or generation, we soften the edges of our own judgement. We can start to see the situation through their eyes and connect with them on a deeper level. Second, ask different questions. Instead of asking the same type of questions and expecting something different, start asking different questions that cause people to think differently, to examine their own beliefs about a situation.

Being a good leader doesn’t mean to have to be an expert on each generation or admit to fully understanding why each generation is the way they are. Good leaders get to know the needs of each individual and authentically engage and motivate them based on their own unique needs.

Leadership is relatively simple in concept but not easy to do. But putting in the effort to improve your leadership skills will be an ROI that is always strong.

Making Hybrid Work WORK — What Will Make Employees Want to Come into the Office?

The shift away from the traditional five-days-a-week in-office job is officially an irreversible one. Remote work has been shown to work well enough for companies, and it’s also an attractive perk for a lot of employees. The paradigm has shifted.

This evolution is ultimately a great thing because it can improve work-life balance without becoming a detriment to the company. However, full-on remote work does have the potential to become a detriment to employee loyalty, workplace culture, and in some instances even to the mental health of your workforce.

For those reasons and others, many organizations have been working with a hybrid schedule: a certain number of days at home and a certain number of days in the office. But even that presents its own problems.

Many of our clients question how they can keep employees connected, regardless of their in-office status. Fortunately, there are some simple ways to do just that.

Maintain Connections

While just about everyone deeply appreciates being able to work at home in their pajamas if they so choose, there are some pitfalls to working remotely. For one, it can become extremely isolating, especially if that employee lives alone. That isolation can be worsened when there is no sense of community in their job.

As a leader of your organization, you can attempt to remedy the problem of isolation with events like virtual happy hours, a casual chat thread in your communication channel, and other just-for-fun virtual activities for remote workers.

When it comes to hybrid work, you can emphasize communication even more by giving employees opportunities to connect in person during their time at the office. If there’s a sense of community when they are together, then not only will they want to be at the office but they’ll also feel more inclined to interact when they’re working from home.

Create an Office People Want to Be In

If you want your employees to be even remotely interested in coming to the office, you need to make the office an accommodating place to be. The baseline for that is providing them with the tools and technology they need to do their job, but it extends into the world of comfort and perks.

Ask yourself: “What can we have here that employees don’t have at home?” If you can answer that question, you can create an environment that employees look forward to being in.

Make Them Aware of Their Value

If your employees feel like faceless cogs in the machine, there’s no doubt they’ll prefer to be faceless cogs in the machine in their lounge clothes at home. If you can show them that they’re an important and needed part of your company, they will feel a greater sense of responsibility and be much more inclined to come to the office.

Employee recognition can and should be done in a variety of ways. From a one-on-one chat to a group celebration to an award or earned perk, you should be doing what you can to acknowledge the contributions of each of your employees as often as you can.

Be Flexible

The incredible appeal of hybrid work for your employees is the flexibility it allows, so don’t do anything that might unnecessarily hamper that flexibility.

If you can allow them to choose which days to come into the office, it’s only going to make coming in easier for them. If you’re rigid about which days they can come in, it’s liable to cause some inconveniences that they may be able to avoid at another job.

Encourage Feedback

If you really want to know how to keep your employees coming into the office, you can always ask them. Allow for anonymous feedback in order to take the temperature of your workforce, see what’s working and what isn’t, and adjust accordingly.

The mere fact that you’re open to feedback can inspire more employee engagement all on its own, and the information that feedback provides can be critical.

Adapting your office to hybrid work is hard enough. Let AssetHR take care of all your human capital management needs. Contact us today to learn more.

What You Need to Know About the Employee Experience in 2023

In 2023, a more holistic and individualized approach that encompasses all aspects of an employee’s life — physical, mental, and emotional well-being as well as work-life balance — will take center stage in workplaces and define the employee experience.

Successful employers will focus on creating a culture of wellness and inclusion, where employees feel supported and valued.

Clear training and well-communicated job descriptions will set expectations and help employees feel confident in their roles. Managers will provide regular feedback and opportunities for growth, focusing on accomplishments rather than disciplinary measures and fear tactics.

Flexible work schedules and remote working options will be the norm, allowing employees to better manage their work-life balance.

In 2023, the employee experience will be more critical than ever. As a result, employers will focus on creating a positive employee experience from day one, providing new hires with a clear overview of the company culture and the organization’s performance expectations.

Employers who invest in creating a positive experience for their employees will be rewarded with higher engagement, productivity, and retention levels. Let’s take a look at some of the trends to watch in 2023 if your company’s goal going into the new year is to attract and retain new talent.

Implement Strategic Employee Onboarding Experiences

Your organization’s onboarding process is the first impression new hires have of your company culture, so it’s important to ensure you’re putting your best foot forward. In 2023, more employers will implement strategic employee onboarding experiences that welcome new hires and help them feel like part of the team from day one.

Moving forward, onboarding will create a personalized experience for each new hire rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach. In addition, employers will use data and analytics to match new hires with mentors, colleagues, and resources to help them succeed in their roles.

Make Use of Technology to Enhance the Employee Experience

Technology can be a great way to streamline processes and improve communication, both of which are key to enhancing the employee experience.

In 2023, more employers will use technology to automate HR processes such as time off requests and performance reviews. This will free up HR teams’ time to focus on more strategic initiatives that directly improve the employee experience.

In addition, more companies will use chatbots and artificial intelligence to provide employees with quick and easy access to answers to their questions about benefits or company policies.

This innovation will help reduce frustration levels and ensure that employees can always find the information they need quickly and easily — enhancing communication across the board.

Encourage Employee Feedback and Suggestions for Improvement

For leaders to continuously improve the employee experience, it’s important to encourage employees to provide feedback on what’s working well and what your organization can improve upon.

In 2023, more companies will begin to set up regular surveys and forums (both online and offline) where employees can anonymously share their thoughts and ideas.

Employers should also create an open-door policy so employees feel comfortable approaching their managers with suggestions or concerns without fear of retribution. By encouraging feedback from employees at all levels, employers will be able to identify areas for improvement and better support their workforce going into the future.

Foster a Culture of Wellness and Inclusion

The workplace will become more focused on wellness and inclusion in 2023 as employers realize the importance of caring for their employees’ physical, mental, and emotional health.

Watch for an increase in company-sponsored wellness programs, like gym memberships or meditation classes, and more flexible work schedules that permit employees to manage their work-life balance better.

Employers will also provide more opportunities for employees to connect with each other outside of work, whether through social events or networking groups. There will also be a noticeable rise in companies implementing unconscious bias training to help create a more inclusive workplace for all.

Understand the Changing Employee Experience

Moving into 2023, the employee experience will continue to be a top priority for employers. From day one, those who focus on creating a positive experience for their employees will be rewarded with higher engagement, productivity, and retention levels. At AssetHR, we can help you create a 2023 HR strategy that will help you attract and retain top talent, while giving you the enterprise-level tools and white-glove customer support to implement our systems seamlessly. Contact Chris Kelly to learn more about our employee experience solutions.

Remote Work and Technology Trends

This blog post was submitted by one of our fantastic contributors, Marc Miller, Chief Happiness Officer at ImagineIT.

Started by the pandemic and continued by the desire for so many employees to work at home, remote work is perhaps the biggest of all trends in the HR industry. Remote work is no longer the exception. On the contrary, it has become the norm for a large percentage of workers in just about every industry worldwide.

Working remotely has become one of the most coveted employee perks. At the same time, remote work has become quite an administrative challenge for every organization. HR is now responsible for managing people across multiple locations and time zones. And HR is accountable for ensuring remote workers are engaged and healthy and can access all human resource products and services.

On the other hand, it gives employers and HR the ability to access new and previously inaccessible talent pools while also helping reduce recruitment costs. In many ways, remote/hybrid work represents a new opportunity for HR to redefine its role within businesses.

The 6 Top Remote work Collaborative Tools

  1. Microsoft Teams: Microsoft Teams is a business communication platform that is part of the Microsoft 365 family of products. Teams offers workspace chat and videoconferencing, file
    storage, and application integration.
  2. Slack: Slack is a one-size-fits-all tool comprising a social media work platform, instant messaging, file sharing, and more.
  3. Workplace: The all-in-one business communication platform from Meta combines chat, video, groups, and your intranet with the work tools you already use daily. Imagine Facebook, but for your company.
  4. Flock: Flock is for collaboration. Flock allows users to configure external apps and integrations from the Flock App Store and receive notifications and updates directly in Flock. With Flock, you communicate in channels, and it helps streamline decision-making and problem-solving.
  5. Nuclino: Nuclino is a cloud-based team collaboration software that allows teams to collaborate and share information in real-time. Some notable features include a WYSIWYG
    collaborative real-time editor and a visual representation of a team’s knowledge in a graph.
  6. Taskworld: Taskworld is a cloud-based collaboration platform. This SAAS solution allows you to assign admins, followers, and guests across different tasks. You also can add multiple
    locations to streamline collaboration across different teams and departments to ensure everyone is aligned.

A high-performing Human Resources team need the best HR software to stay competitive and attract and retain top talent. You can use these technology trends to improve your overall
experience as an HR Director or Manager, with the ultimate goal to significantly improve your employee experience.

If you have additional questions regarding HR technology, IT, cyber security, or anything related to technology, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.